- Home Office Minister makes fresh commitment to Jack Brereton MP on reclassifying monkey dust
The Home Office has made a personal commitment to Jack Brereton MP to for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to conduct a formal harms assessment on synthetic cathinones, including monkey dust, in a move which would likely recommend that the Class B drug be reclassified to a Class A drug.
Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, has been campaigning to reclassify monkey dust to a Class A drug following an increase in its use throughout Stoke-on-Trent and the damaging impact. Late last year, the MP secured a Westminster Hall Debate in which the Minister for Crime, Policing, and Fire, Chris Philp MP, moved to start the process of looking into a formal review of monkey dust and synthetic cathinones. This was welcomed by Jack Brereton who has assisted the Government in their efforts to secure evidence on the harms of monkey dust.
Monkey Dust is a class B drug from the set of stimulants known as cathinones which includes the Class C drug, khat. But unlike khat, which is a reasonably mild natural stimulant, monkey dust is a powerful synthetic drug. It is a stimulant that can make the user euphoric or hallucinate, lose control of their body, become aggressive and/or fall into deep depression.
Commenting on the Government’s announcement, Jack Brereton MP said:
“Monkey dust is a horrific drug that has had a devastating impact on residents and is destroying lives in Stoke-on-Trent. This latest announcement from the Government is hugely welcome and I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure we drive this drug off our streets. Reclassification will ensure this horrific drug is warranted the true classification it deserves given the catastrophic impact it is having on our communities and lives.
I have received numerous correspondence from constituents who have been personally impacted by monkey dust themselves or know a relative or friend who have suffered at the hands of this drug. Lives are literally being ripped apart and residents are seeing the affects of monkey dust from the resultant violence and erratic behaviors of those consuming the drug.
Staffordshire Police have recently made four arrests following the seizure if a further 8 kilograms of monkey dust that was headed for Stoke-on-Trent and I want to thank them and all the other local services who are dealing with the impacts of the horrific drug on a daily basis.
I am also extremely grateful to those who have so far signed my petition to have monkey reclassified as a class A drug and have been in contact to share some of the tragic impacts.”
Staffordshire Police recently released a press release informing the public that four people have been arrested following the discovery of eight packages filled with monkey dust, at an estimated value of around £100,000.
Chief Inspector Scott McGrath, of the Stoke North local policing team, said:
“This substance can have a significant impact on vulnerable people in our communities and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to stop a substantial amount from reaching our streets.
“We’ve been working hard with our partners to identify those responsible for distributing drugs locally and to support those who are adversely affected by them.”
If the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) advises that Monkey Dust should be reclassified as a Class A drug, offenders could receive life in prison, meaning that those supplying and producing monkey dust can receive the harshest of sentences.
Updating Jack Brereton on the Government’s assessment, Minister Philp said:
“These synthetic drugs ruin lives, families and neighbourhoods. Made in labs and pumped into our communities, our drug laws must keep pace with their evolution.
We are tackling the supply and demand for illegal substances to reduce addiction and it’s effects, including driving down crime and antisocial behaviour.
I look forward to receiving the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ advice on combatting synthetic cathinones in Staffordshire and across the UK.
I congratulate Jack for his tireless campaigning on this issue, which has prompted this move”
Sign Jack’s petition at: https://www.jackbrereton.co.uk/campaigns/reclassify-monkey-dust-class-drug